“We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.” Ursula K. LeGuin
What a lovely way to spend a Sunday – in the shimmering Sussex, NJ countryside in a light-filled atrium sharing a glimse of my children’s novel and listening to a lovely gathering of women reading aloud. A joy and honor! The occasion was a fundraising event for the Kaaren Furman Memorial Scholarship – a gift awarded each year to a woman living with cancer for a soul-nourishing weekend writing retreat hosted by Women Reading Aloud. What a precious gift of hope, words, and community!
Women Readng Aloud is the labor of love of Julie Maloney, a truly inspirational poet, novelist, writing guide, and bundle of joyous enthusiasm. Julie runs writing workshops, an annual writing weekend, and amazing 10-day retreats. I was lucky enough to attend one in Greece with my wonderful friend and writing buddy, Nancy. I still dream about it!
Our Sunday reading brought together women from many walks of life. In the soaring atrium sheltering us, these bold, gifted writers gave voice to love, loss, joy, and laughter. They shared their poetry, memoirs, and short essays. I read from my fantasy adventure and Nancy and Julie, from their novels. Reading aloud offers so much:
It creates community: When we come together and read from our work, there’s a transfer of energy that enlivens and inspirits between those who read and those who listen.
It nourishes us: Just getting up and letting yourself be heard – speaking the words you’ve put on a page – is an act of communion and courage.
It allows us to nourish others: When she share our pleasure in the words of other writers, we given them heart and the strength to continue on.
Bravo, Julie — write and inspire on! For more on Women Reading Aloud, visit: https://www.womenreadingaloud.org. Write on!
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